College, Job and Scholarship Interview Tips

College Interview Tips

By Peggy Wallace, Making Conversation

Question: The interview is optional. Why bother?

Answer: Your getting into their school/job/scholarship is optional too.. If you want them, make every effort and that includes the effort of preparation for an interview in this highly competitive environment. By doing the interview, at a minimum you show just how enthusiastic you are and in the best case, you make a phenomenal impression on someone at the school, job or scholarship. If you connect with the right person, they can really become your advocate.

Question: Do I really shake hands, AGAIN, when I leave the interview? If I feel we really connected, can I give them a hug? How do I leave with a favorable impression?

Answer: Yes, to handshake only. It is important that you “touch” the person and handshakes are truly the almost universally acceptable method, e.g. certain religious groups do not permit touching. Many people, even those super warm folks, have a sense of personal space that would be invaded were you to hug them, don’t risk it! Remember E X I T: Express your gratitude, mentioning something you discussed; X-Change handshakes; announce your Intentions for any future contact (You hope to see them at the new students or future alumni association events); and Take off!

Question: Do I send an e-mail thank you and/or snail mail one?

Answer: In regards to the e-mail vs. the formal card, you can do both, but be sure to send the e-mail later that day so the interviewer can reference it or incorporate their good feelings about you when they do their write-up. Leave as little to chance as possible. Make sure that you have their e-mail address to send a thank you right away. You can ask how you might contact them in writing at the end of the interview, if it all will be arranged by phone. If you have additional information or a question or comment which relates to what you discussed, be sure to bring it up in the e-mail. If you later come across a clipping relating to the topic you discussed or feel the need to send a more formal acknowledgement use a plain business-like note card and write legibly.

Article by Peggy Wallace, founder, Making Conversation